Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab Employee Reviews

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Provided an Innovative Work Environment
Senior Professional Staff (Former Employee) –  Laurel, MDAugust 8, 2016
JHU/APL is a cornerstone for innovation and "out of the box" concepts. Deep thought and experimentation is encouraged and rewarded. The pace and culture of the environment is a bit dated.
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Very exciting to work with systems engineers & rocket scientists!
Administrator, Information Technology Services (Former Employee) –  Laurel, MDApril 1, 2016
APL-ers are committed to serving their country as defense contractors. Very smart and innovative in creating solutions to thorny, global problems.
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fun place to work learn a lot
Grounds Maintenance worker and Equipment Operator (Former Employee) –  Columbia, MDMarch 27, 2016
fun place to work as a grounds keeper learned so much and had a very nice time there and wish I was still there those were the good old days
Pros
overtime
Cons
none
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Apl
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee) –  Laurel, MDFebruary 1, 2016
APL as a whole is an awesome place to work. The benefits and pay are pretty good. The issue is certain departments have issues at the top, but instead of removing those issues they remove the workers.
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Great Salary and Benefits - Rampant Ageism
SENIOR PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL STAFF (Former Employee) –  MarylandNovember 18, 2015
This place has outstanding salary and benefits. Some of the work is really exciting, some of it is dull as can be. Great place if you are just out of grad school, but don't get old. They don't like older workers.
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Work at JHU
Design Engineer - Converter design engineer (Current Employee) –  Laurel, MDNovember 10, 2015
It is a challenging and rewarding environment. Very nice facilities and lab equipment. People are generally very supportive there.
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If they want you they are good to you ... if not ...
Systems Engineer (Former Employee) –  Laurel, MDOctober 29, 2015
Employment their usually starts off well and lasts more years than at most places. However, it can be tricky despite your best efforts to remain employed there. The place frequently reorganizes and the people that support you the most may disappear. Their objectives can change leaving you high and dry for work. Then they give you a choice between a probation assignment (which usually leads to termination) or help in placement outside the lab. Some people leave and come back with great success. Nice campus, offices, activities and efforts to keep employees happy.
Pros
Long employment possible
Cons
Must have strong career path planning, skills and accomplishments.
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Steady place to work
Associate Professional Staff II (Current Employee) –  Laurel, MDJuly 5, 2015
Overall JHUAPL is a decent place to work; however, look elsewhere if you want to work on cutting-edge research. There is much more of an emphasis on the worth of management over technical staff, which makes career advancement for engineers and scientist who prefer to stay out of line management very difficult.
Pros
Steady work, good work/life balance, good salary
Cons
Little career advancement for technical staff, research isn't very cutting edge, matrix management organizational style can lead to redundancy in line management.
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Fun to work
Tech Specialist (Former Employee) –  Laurel, MDJune 26, 2015
Design a GUI for the ARGO project. Main tasks were the parser and small front end design. This was my first internship and I learn a lot about the computer science field from working here.
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JHU/APL social stratification: a dichotomy of work environments
Associate Professional (Current Employee) –  Associate ProfessionalJune 18, 2015
For scientist, engineers, and management JHU/APL truly is a “Best Place to Work.” However, support staff and other non-professional positions should be leery when considering any offers of employment.

With twenty and even thirty year careers for professional staff commonplace at JHU/APL one question I recommend every job candidate ask during the interview process: “What is the median number of years my peers have worked at JHU/APL?” If the answer is not ten years or more, it is a warning indicator of excessively high employee turnover. The likely culprit is management that characterizes support staff as commodities. Long-term retention is not a goal and therefore providing opportunity for advancement (promotion, recognition, salary, and training) or work life balance is extraneous.
Pros
better than average retirement plan (403b), good commute location for the Baltimore/Washington area, convenient on-site cafeterias (overpriced)
Cons
redundant layers of management, no leadership within management, parking is terrible (free)
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Research and development was a lot of fun
Senior Engineering Technician Grade C (Former Employee) –  Scaggsville, MDJune 12, 2015
My days varied depending on which test stall I was assigned to. They were Scram jet rocket, Particle injection, NASA Aerospace plane thrust and Infrared Laser guidance testing. The work atmosphere and the personnel I worked with made it enjoyable just to go to work.
Pros
Working there/had its on softball league
Cons
None
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Great mix of academic research and application
Section Manager (Former Employee) –  Baltimore, MDMarch 24, 2015
- great work life balance
- good for those that are transitioning from military
- great location to Baltmore and Washington
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Productive work for more experienced workers
Associate Professional Staff I (Current Employee) –  Laurel, MDJanuary 28, 2015
Not a terrific entry-level job, it's better to come in with subject expertise.
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Fun workplace as a staff member.
Electrical Design Engineer in PESD - TDC group (Former Employee) –  North Laurel, MDJanuary 16, 2015
Co-workers were professional; Other sector staff were professional.
Pros
free flu shots, ppe's safety-oriented;
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Fun place to work
Computing Sys Assistant (Current Employee) –  Laurel, MDOctober 14, 2014
Laid back but very productive. Very friendly staff and management team.
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Good learning environment and fun co-workers.
Administrative Specialist (Current Employee) –  Laurel, MDSeptember 10, 2014
Training and seminars encouraged.. Meeting interesting visitors everyday. Fun and interesting co-workers.
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People working here are always smiling
Summer Intern (Former Employee) –  Laurel, MDJuly 28, 2014
This place is amazing. When you work here and there are excess funds, they re-invest it in research projects thought up by their workers.
Pros
cafeteria on site, great pay, well funded labs
Cons
secure entry door is kinda creepy
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Great place to learn
Design Engineer (Current Employee) –  Laurel, MDMarch 13, 2014
I learned a lot working here. Great bosses. Nice people. I was an intern fresh out of school. I didn't know a lot but they worked with my knowledge base and made me feel part of the team
Pros
location
Cons
not a lot of room to move in the company
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good place to work
Assembly Tech. (Former Employee) –  Laurel, MDJanuary 9, 2014
short lived temp, but work there on three different assignments
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Productive place to work at also learned alot while on the job
Guidance Navigation Control Engineer (Former Employee) –  Laurel, MDAugust 28, 2013
Has about 5000 engineers all working on problems paid for by sponsors, mostly the government/military. It is a non-profit organization so salaries/benefits are above average, though overtime is unpaid and it is usually expected that you do overtime just to do the work well.
Pros
salary/benefits
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Overall rating

4.0
Based on 30 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.9
Compensation/Benefits
4.0
Job Security/Advancement
3.2
Management
3.2
Culture
3.6

Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab Reviews by Location